What Makes Your Child Tick?

not so easy children

What Makes Your Child Tick?

Dr. Bob | executive function, temperament traits | 0 Comments | Post Date: April 18 2019

Why are children different and why do some things work and others don’t and why do other dilemmas of raising children stress me out?

Why do some kids sail through their childhoods while others struggle? Why do some parents seem to have all the answers while others are at a loss to manage their children? Why? Why do kids do what they do? Some say, “Well, they are kids; they just do crazy things?”  We know that our brains are developed before birth.  Genes provide a blueprint for the brain, and the child’s environment and experiences can modify the execution.  How children behave and learn is determined by temperament traits, executive functions, and the fit with the environment supporting children.


Most parents wonder and worry about their children’s future. Most would love to be able to predict how successful they will become. Most parents don’t think that prediction is possible, so they are left with only their hopes and beliefs in being a good parent to heal any ill. Current society believes that providing many opportunities for growth is another way to increase the odds of success. Recent research has provided us with rich knowledge to help predict your child’s possibilities. These go far beyond hope and make predicting a part of our science, and something that you can do with the help of the information in this book.


Can you really predict which children will be easy and which ones will not? If you can predict, how good is that prediction and how early can you accomplish this future fortune-telling? Can parents really help their struggling child have success? First, let’s explore what we have learned about children. Children are different. “Duh, Papa,” as my granddaughter would say. We all know that fact, but still cling to the belief that there is a universal way to parent all children. General parenting advice only works for the easy child. How many of you have an easy child? Most of us need to customize our parenting practices to fit our individual children and their needs. The first of the book is devoted to helping you accomplish this task.


Understanding of Behavior and Learning

                          You’re kidding; They Are Not Doing This On Purpose?



Back in the 1950s and 1960s, it was believed that children misbehave for attention or power, out of revenge, or from feelings of inadequacy. The same “experts” believed that IQ was the sole determinant of academic success. We now know through neurological research and a better understanding of our brain wiring that these early misconceptions are not true.



How children behave and learn is determined by temperament traits, executive functions, and the fit with the environment supporting these children. We now understand the front part of the brain: the frontal lobes are the command-and-control for your child. There are behavior drivers, learning drivers, and integrators that help children navigate this complex world in which we live.


How our brain solves problems or struggles to solve problems has been the subject of current research that leads us to know that children rarely behave to get under our skin.

Children’s behavior is not usually on purpose or intentional, certainly not in the under-ten-year-old; all bets are off for the teenager!


There are many brain-driven reasons why some children refuse to obey. Now you’re saying to yourself, “Does this mean that my child is not responsible for obeying?” No, absolutely not. They are accountable, just as a deaf child is responsible for understanding what is requested and what is expected, but who can’t hear you. They have a handicap, as do children who struggle to solve problems. You would not get angry, frustrated, upset, and yell at deaf children for not hearing you; you would help them with their struggle by giving them a hearing aid, and by teaching them to read lips and to sign.


Understanding your children’s wiring and what is driving their behavior is the important first step in helping them with their struggles and assuring success and keeping yourself calm in the process. The child who is struggling in school, but who has a normal IQ, has executive functions and skill sets for learning that are weak.


When we do not understand how our children are wired, we often have unrealistic expectations and are at a loss to help, and cause both the child and us as parents to struggle. This is when frustration and anger occur, quickly followed by guilt. This tormenting and distressing parenting occurs when you don’t know how to solve the problem of your child’s struggles. We say the child is misbehaving, but, in reality, neither child nor parent is equipped to solve the problem at hand.


We now know that the major reason children misbehave is that they become overwhelmed with the demands from themselves, their parents, teachers, sibling, or from a friend. A child wants to do what was asked but suffers a conflict in the process of completing and solving that request (problem).




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